Branch courses

The aim of branch courses is to impart basic knowledge. They are intended to serve as a complement to classroom instruction at VET schools and apprenticeship training at host companies. Professional organisations decide whether a branch course is required for the given VET programme. They also establish the terms and conditions in the corresponding VET ordinance. The learning content to be imparted is laid down in the training plan. The branch course providers document the learners’ performance in the form of competence records. In some occupations, grades are given for these competence records and are included in the calculation of the performance grade.

Generally speaking, professional organisations are responsible for branch courses, which are funded by contributions from host companies as well as from public grants and contributions from members of individual professional organisations. The Confederation, cantons and professional organisations have a joint quality measurement tool: QualBC.

Attendance of branch courses is compulsory for learners. At the request of the host company, the cantonal authority may grant a special dispensation from this obligation if the learners attend an equivalent course in the training centre of a company or at a trade school.

Attendance of branch courses is free of charge for learners. The course fees and ancillary costs are not to be paid by the learner or their legal representative.